How do you get the best high-powered long-distance binoculars especially with all the myriad options available today? As any binocular enthusiast would tell you, it requires a little bit of in-depth research and knowledge.
You’ll have to read as much optical-related info as your time allows, scour through different bins’ specs, and also go through numerous customer reviews. As you can imagine this could take you some time.
But that’s where we come in.
Our best high-powered long-distance binoculars buying guide highlights some of the most important features worth giving some thought to when buying a pair of binoculars. We also have 10 units that our team believes are among the best binoculars in 2018. Check them out below.
Best Long-Range Binoculars Reviews
1. BARSKA Blueline 20x,40×100 Jumbo Binocular Review
Our first recommendation for anyone looking for a good value, high-level, powerful long-range pair of binoculars would be this Barska Blueline. This tool’s long-range performance makes it a reliable option for both terrestrial and celestial observation.
Here’s what you might like
Dual Power interchangeable eyepieces
For those who love watching whales over 10 miles away, this Barska’s 20x-40x interchangeable eyepieces will be a great deal.
Rotating the ocular turrets will offer you an extremely wide-angle viewing at 20x and high-power observation at 40x. As past buyers and reviewers confirm, swapping the eyepieces is smooth and focusing is just as easy too.
Here’s the best part
100mm Objective lenses
Besides its high power, what make them a really good deal are their giant 100mm objective lenses. These ultra-large lenses ensure maximum light gathering to offer impressively bright and crisp images with great detail.
Even better, these semi-apochromatic objective lenses are multi-coated. What this means is that they might be able to transmit 99% – 99.7% of the light passing through them. This enchants clarity and renders the binoculars useful in different light conditions.
Are they waterproof?
These binoculars’ rigid all-metal body gives them a really good feel and value for your money. But what you might like is that they have a set of rubber O-rings that makes them waterproof.
Well, I wouldn’t advise you to use them in the rain considering their price. However, light showers and mere splashes won’t affect their performance.
What should you know?
At its magnification power, do know that you’ll need to use a tripod for better performance. Unfortunately, the tripod is not included in the package. But you can order it separately.
- Ideal for terrestrial and celestial observation
- Rigid waterproof construction with an all-metal body
- Powerful for long-range viewing
- Dual eyepieces swap smooth
- It’s bulky and heavyweight
2. Kowa High Lander Series 32 x 82mm Binoculars review
The Kowa High Lander 32×82 is yet another highly recommendable set in our picks of the best high-ranger binoculars 2018. Unlike the Barska Blueline above, the Kowa does not offer interchangeable objective lenses.
Does that make it any weaker?
I bet no. The Kowa High Lander’s 32x magnification power is still more than you’ll need for average use. This magnification power offers you a wide angle and an incredible high eye point (45-degrees angle) that makes viewing easy and less tiring.
If you are looking for more magnification power, you might appreciate that these eyepieces are interchangeable. You could replace them with a 50x or 21 x power eyepieces to suit your needs.
But what make it even powerful are its 82mm diameter objective diameter lenses. This size is large enough to offer you sharp images in a clear visual range. The good news here is that the lenses are fully multi-coated.
Has Individual Focus system
The most appealing bit about the Kowa High Lander is that it allows you to focus each lens individually. This might be a better option especially if standard binoculars don’t give you enough dioptric correction.
The Kowa High Landers also have an excellent build to it. It features a strong die-cast aluminum rigid housing for durability and hard usage. What’s even more appealing is that its rigid housing is waterproof. You might also like that the lenses are nitrogen-purged to prevent fogging.
- It’s waterproof and fog-proof
- Ultra-strong Die-cast aluminum housing allows hard use
- Powerful high-power magnification eyepieces are interchangeable
- All lens surfaces are coated
3. Celestron SkyMaster 25×100 Astro Binoculars Review
For those who are looking for the best affordable long-range binoculars, the Celestron Skymaster Astro is worth checking out.
What we like about the Celestron Skymaster is that unlike our first 2 recommendations, this one is less bulky and less weighty. It weighs around 9 pounds only.
I wouldn’t call it compact since you’ll obviously need a tripod for them. But in my opinion, this size seems easily manageable compared to our first 2 picks.
Why do we recommend it?
Has a sharp focus
The Celestron Skymaster combines a massive 25x magnification and a 100mm objective lens to give you an exit pupil of 4mm. This offers you a full, comfortable view for most uses including astronomy.
Although the magnification is slightly lower than what Kowa offers, the upside is that you get a wider focus view of up to 156ft/1000 yards.
What’s the benefit here?
What this means is that you won’t have to scan the horizon for long as you search for your target object. Again, this wide FoV also makes the Celestron Skymaster quite reliable for moving objects.
In addition, these binoculars’ eyepieces have a 450-degree rotation. This means that you get an incredibly sharp focus. Its 100mm-objective lens, on the other hand, offers you a 4mm eye-pupil exit pupil which is ideal for most lighting conditions.
For those who wear glasses, these binoculars’ 15-millimeter eye relief seems to be in your favor.
What about durability?
The Celestron Skymaster binoculars are water-resistant. Although they lack a rubberized housing, a rubber ring around the housing will protect them from fog and humidity.
They also have a textured surface that offers slip-resistant traction. This feature minimizes the risk of slippage as you set the tool on your tripod.
What should you know?
The Celestron Skymaster does not feature a center focus knob. This makes it a bit hard to adjust the focus of the eyepieces independently. As such, it might not be ideal for terrestrial uses such as hunting and birding.
- They are somewhat light and compact
- Easily manageable magnification power
- Have wide Field of View
- Does not a focus wheel
4. Orion 9326 Giant View 25×100 Astronomy Binoculars
The Orion 9326 Giant View binoculars are currently the biggest astronomy ocular tools from Orion, an American brand. At their price, these mid-to-high range binos, in my opinion, offer a lot of impressive features worth going for.
What will you like about them?
At below 500 dollars, these giant objective lenses qualify the Orion 9326 to compete favorably with bins that are 3 times pricier. These bigger lenses gather in more light which makes them pretty ideal not night stargazing.
It gets even better
We also like that besides their big diameter, Orion Optics also adds multi-layer coatings to every lens surface along the optical pathway. This anti-reflection material adds to image brightness and also boosts the life of the lenses.
Large Exit Pull
These binoculars’ 25x magnification and 100mm lenses offer you a 4mm Exit Pupil. This is a great feature considering its high magnification power. In fact, it beats Kowa’s 2.5mm exit pupil to provide you with more detailed views at a wide FOV.
Longer eye relief
The Orion 9326 Giant View binoculars also offer you a longer eye relief at 18mm. This means that you can use it with about any corrective eyeglasses.
- Has a generous eye pupil and eye relief
- Features BAK-4 prisms
- Has internal baffling to ensure sharp images
- Twist-up eye cups might be a great addition in place of the rubber folding type
Best Long-Distance Binoculars 2022
1. Celestron 71454 Echelon 20×70 Binoculars
The Celestron Echelon 71454 20X70 is the most powerful in Celestron’s series of binoculars. If you are looking for an affordable model from this brand, the 71450 and the 71452 are other recommendable options.
We, however, highly recommend the 71454 for anyone looking for a powerful set of binoculars designed purposely for long-range performance.
What will you like here?
The Celestron Echelon is pretty much similar to any other high-end ocular Porro prism bin. Its ergonomic shape gives it a natural feel that is both comfortable and secure to hold in hands.
What we like, however, is that the Echelon 71454 uses two thin arches in place of the single-wide central hinge that is common in most binoculars. In my opinion, this plays a major role in reducing its weight to a mere 4.12lbs.
That’s not all
These binoculars’ lightweight design isn’t a compromise on design. The entire unit features aluminum alloy construction and has a really good weight distribution to it. Although you might want a tripod for prolonged use, holding these binoculars by won’t be an issue.
Importantly, its objective lenses are 14mm inside the barrel. They are quite deeper in comparison to other long-range binoculars in this list.
Why is this important?
Although it does not necessarily guarantee better performance, these lenses position hugely contribute to their durability. The body overhang protects them from dust, raindrops, and sun-flaring.
Even better, these binoculars have a thick rubber jacket for impact protection. Uniquely, this jacket has smooth elliptical patches that offer a superb grip even with thick gloves.
What’s more, these binoculars are fully sealed to make them waterproof. They also feature a nitrogen-purged interior. This feature means that the interior optics is safe from fogging even in high-humidity areas.
What about performance?
Like other models in this series, the Echelon 71454 uses an individual focus system. This means that you’ll use the diopter to focus each eyepiece individually. Therefore, it might take a little longer to focus on objects that are closer.
This shouldn’t be a turn off though since these binos are designed for long-range performance. As such, you’ll mostly use set them at infinity and won’t require regular readjustment.
- Waterproof and nitrogen-purged interiors offer durability
- Multi-coating minimizes telltale ghost images
- They are powerful yet easily manageable
- They are well-balanced
- Comes with a thickly-padded neck strap (won’t dig into skin)
- IF system makes it ideal for long-range observations
2. Swarovski Optik EL Swarovision Binocular 10×42
Anyone looking for the best long-distance binoculars for hunting and watching wildlife is better off with the Swarovski Optik EL. While their elder sibling the Swarovski 8.5×42 EL are quite common, the 10×42 version might be a better option if you want a bin for long-distant viewing.
So, what makes it worth the money?
Durable construction design
This is, hands down what everyone will be looking for when buying a high-end optical instrument. These bins are crafted from a magnesium alloy. They have an appealing heft and impeccable balance. The body has the renowned wraparound grip common with Swarovski bins that makes them easy to hold single-handedly.
Its interiors feature premium diamond-bright optic. Combine this with their above-average eye exit pupil of 4.2mm, and you get an ocular that you’ll use even in low-light conditions.
Perhaps the best part about the Swarovski Optik EL (EL for Ergonomic Light) is that it is water-submersible up to 13 feet. Well, it’s less likely that you’ll want to use it under water, this means that there’ll be no limitations using it in the rain.
Let’s talk performance
The Swarovski binoculars have 10x magnification power. Unlike the Celestron Echelon above, this means that focusing might be quite easy. They use the legendary BAK-4 prisms, and all the lenses are fully multi-coated.
Worth pointing out, these binoculars beat all others to offer you up to 330-ft fov at 1000 yards. This feature makes them reliable for a wide array of outdoor activities including sports.
- Has a long eye relief
- Fully-multi-coated lenses reduce light dispersion
- Very light at 1.85lbs
- Fully waterproof and fog-proof
- Pricey for its features
Best High-Power Binoculars
1. Vanguard 8×42 Spirit ED Binocular
If you are looking for the best long-distance binoculars with a unique blend in price, features, and performance, you might want to check out the Vanguard Spirit ED.
This is among a few other binos under the $200 category that offer multi-coated lenses, phase-coated prisms, and a fully waterproof and fog-proof construction.
Here are its features in details
Construction materials and durability
The Vanguard Spirit features elite level construction design in both its housing materials and its binoculars glass.
Uniquely, this manufacturer ensures that all components fit to make the bins waterproof, fogproof, and weatherproof. This feature makes it a really good performer in different viewing situations (More on this later).
Here is the best part
Amazingly lightweight and portable
The most intriguing bit is how a binocular so strong could weigh around 1 pound. You might also like that these bins measure 4.92 x 1.65 x 5.71 in. These dimensions mean that the binoculars might not be too big or overly bulky for your needs.
This feature also means that hanging the bins around your neck will much easier in comparison to other bins that weigh up to 16lbs.
At its price, is it a good performer?
About performance, the Vanguard Spirit ED bins have 8x magnification power. Although this seems quite low in comparison to others in this list, it is, in fact, a pro, by itself.
First, this low-magnification power means that you don’t have to lug a tripod with you if you don’t wish. Again, the low-power magnification guarantees you a very wide FOV of up to 330ft/1000 yards. This means the Vanguard will be useful in a myriad of activities such as boating, hunting, hiking, and wildlife-watching among others.
- Very lightweight
- Large exit pupil (5.25) allows use in low-light conditions
- 2-stage eyecups offer a longer eye relief
- It’s fully waterproof and fogproof
- The strap might be quite annoying
2. Celestron 71332 Nature DX 8×42
The Celestron 71332 Nature DX binoculars are another pair of highly recommendable binoculars for those on a tight budget. They are pretty similar to their 10×42 version. However, their body feels extremely comfortable and well-balanced for prolonged usage.
These bins have a fairly traditional roof prism design. They have one hinge to connect their centrally placed bridge. The housing features a polycarbonate construction which, though, relative cheap feels strong and durable.
This construction material also makes these binoculars quite lightweight for full binoculars. They also have dark, green, rubber armor that adds that offers them fairly good impact protection.
Here’s the interesting bit
Performance and focusing
Similar to the Vanguard Spirit ED above, the Celestron 71332 Nature offers 8x magnification and super large objective lenses. These 2 features plush the lightweight design offer you a bin that you can hold by hand and use without fuss.
About focusing, the Celestron 71332 has a 29mm focusing wheel. Although quite small for binoculars with this size, this wheel has a rubber covering and turns seamlessly. Worth mentioning, it only takes 2 360-degree turns to focus from near to extreme.
- Twist-out eyecups offer a long eye relief
- They are so compact and lightweight for a full bin
- Large exit pupil allows usage in low-light conditions
- Thin rubber coating offers less-than-average impact protection
3. Nikon 7576 MONARCH 5 8×42 Binocular
Formerly known as the Monarch ATB Binoculars, these are among the best long-distance bins that you could buy without spending much. There’s a reason why these bins have gained so many positive reviews in the recent past.
Features ED (Extra Low-dispersion) glass
Other than the easily visible 8×42 performance, the Nikon 7576 uses the ED Glasses that reduces residual chromatic aberration significantly. This technology offers clearer and brighter images due to high color contrast.
Has Dielectric High-Reflective multi-coatings
This is, yet, another super impressive feature about the Nikon 7576 bins. These coatings offer you a natural look besides providing you with brightness and higher resolution. Moreover, these coatings work hand in hand with these binoculars’ large Exit pupil to offer you excellent images in low light.
Do you love extreme outdoors?
If you love extreme outdoors, then you might love that these bins are built for just that. First, the 8x magnification allows fast focusing and a wide fov. In addition, the 42mm objective lenses absorb more light for brighter images.
But the best part is that these binoculars are both waterproof and fireproof. Even better, they are nitrogen-filled, and, therefore, fogproof. These features mean that you can use them in about any weather condition without issues.
- Have excellent eye relief technology
- They are great value at their price
- 100% waterproof and fogproof
- Extra-low dispersion offers clearer and brighter imagery
- Lens caps may not fit well
4. Carson 3D Series High-Definition Binoculars
For below 300 bucks, the Carson 3D High Definition binos might be your best pick for your hunting, camping, bird-watching, and safaris. Needless to mention, these binoculars might be great for low-light conditions. The 8×42 magnification and objective lens size combo say it all.
What else is there to like about the Carson 3D?
Similar to other high-end binoculars in Carson’s 3D Series, the 8×42 features a polycarbonate chassis. Although it’s not the best for such a model, it works like a charm to keep the weight down. That’s why these binoculars weigh 23 oz only.
There’s more to this
Tough for all weather
What you might also like is that these binoculars are designed for all-weather use. They have multiple high-quality O-rings to prevent water from creeping in. They also have an appropriate lubricant to allow usage in different temperatures.
Easy on your eyes and hands
The twist-down eyecups offer you an extra long eye relief (19.5mm) with these. This feature means that they might be comfortable for those who wear glasses. The bins also sit nicely in your hands and are also pretty comfortable to use.
The good news?
No fault warranty
For those who are on the fence about to buy these binoculars, the promise of a free replacement regardless of the damage comes as a relief.
- Very easy on the eyes
- They are lightweight
- Works well in low-light environments
- Comfortable to hold
- Incredible warranty
- Cheap-looking housing
How to buy the best high-powered long distance binoculars
Game of numbers: Magnification and Lens Diameter
All binoculars bear a set of 2 numbers that differentiate them. The Nikon 7540 Monarch 3, for instance, has 8×32. The first digit refers to the magnification power. It shows how close a certain object will appear when viewed through the binoculars.
Still hard to understand?
View it this way. Assuming that you are looking at a white-tailed deer that is 800 yards away, the Nikon 7540 above will make it appear as though it were only 100 yards away (800/8).
Magnification in binoculars ranges from as low as 2x to as high as 40x. You might think that higher magnification is the best way to go, right?
While this is partly true, higher magnification has its challenges as well. First, higher magnification results to reduced field of view (more about this later).
Secondly, as the magnification power goes up, image steadiness goes down. This means that even the minutest handshakes could affect how clear the image will be.
So, what is the best magnification for binoculars?
Binoculars with 2x-8x magnification suffice in most instances; hunting, bird-watching, hiking, theatre, and action sports.
You could also invest in a 10x-40x model if you love following the celestial movements. However, do know that using it without a tripod might always be quite challenging and frustrating.
Tip: As a rule of thumb, the best binoculars for kids should be between 2x and 7x. Anything higher than that might be simply useless to them.
Rather than going for high magnification, I would recommend you to consider a larger objective lens.
Learn more about it below.
Objective Lens size/Diameter
The objective size is the second number after the magnification number. It refers to the diameter of the lenses (those farther from you). In our previous example, the Nikon 7540 8×32 has 32mm objective lenses.
Usually, the bigger the objective lens, the more light it will be able to capture. More light means brighter images.
So, if you have 2 high-powered long-distance binoculars with equal magnification power but varying objective lens diameter, I would advise you to consider the one with larger lenses.
There’s a catch though.
50mm objective lenses make some of the best binoculars for hunting. But do know that they fly at extremely high prices than smaller lenses. Again, binos with bigger lenses also tend to be bulkier. But they are pretty much reliable for low-light environments.
Binocular Exit Pupil
Another way of identifying how reliable a pair of binoculars will be for your needs is by determining its exit pupil. We get the exit pupil by dividing the objective lens diameter with the magnification. Usually, the higher the number, the brighter the images will be.
Let’s dig a little deeper
The human eye can narrow its pupil to approximately 2mm in daylight. In dim light, the pupil can dilate to approximately 7mm to capture more light.
This means that binoculars with a higher exit pupil will be of great use in both daylight and low-light conditions.
Field of View (FoV)
The Field of View is often expressed as meters/1000m, feet/1000 yards, or in degrees. As a rule of thumb, the wider the FoV, the easier it will be for you to locate objects without constantly scanning along the horizon.
Lower magnification usually leads to a wider fov. However, with the advancement in optical technology, we now have powerful binoculars with wider field of view too.
Other important features worth checking out
You see, when light moves through the glass lenses, 8% of it is lost due scattering. While no lens coating will prevent this, a decent optical coating reduces the lost light to around 4%-6%. Multi-coating could reduce it even further and, therefore, offer you even brighter images.
Waterproof and water-resistance
High-powered and long-distance binoculars are pricey gadgets. To protect them from the elements, you might want to go for a waterproof or water-resistant model. Although they won’t be fully waterproof or water-resistant, their design heck protects them from damage.
Size and weight
Full-size binoculars offer the best performance due to the type and amount of glass that they use. The compromise, however, is that they can be as heavy as 10lbs and even more.
There are compact models that you might want to consider though. The downside here is that they aren’t as powerful as their full-size counterparts.
What is your pick for the best high-powered, long-distance binoculars? Not sure yet? We can’t blame you. It can be quite difficult to choose the best model from all the available options. For some help though, we would recommend the Carson 3D Series 8×42.
These sets of binoculars are affordable and have an excellent magnification-to-objective lens combination to allow both terrestrial and celestial viewing. They are also lightweight to carry around and to use without a tripod. Even better, you get the best warranty.